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Ukraine tightens cordon around rebellious city

Tuesday - 5/6/2014, 4:20pm  ET

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's government is seeing some advances and some setbacks as it tries to control eastern cities in which pro-Russia insurgents have taken control of government buildings.

Ukrainian forces have taken hold of a key checkpoint north of the city of Slovyansk (SLAHV'-yansk). That dealt a blow to the lines of communications used by the insurgents.

But to the south, in the city of Donetsk (dah-NETSK'), about 30 pro-Russia militants armed with automatic rifles and grenade launchers have surrounded an Interior Ministry base. They're demanding that the troops inside the base not join in any government operations against the pro-Russia forces.

A siege of a government forces base marks an uptick in the actions of the militants. Until now, they've focused on seizing police stations and government buildings.

In the southern city of Odessa, federal authorities announced today that they were firing the acting governor and replacing him with a member of parliament. The move came after 46 people died Friday when a pro-Ukraine march in Odessa turned into a melee of fighting. Many of the deaths came in a building fire.

%@AP Links

172-a-17-(Andriy Deshchytsia (ahn-DREE' desh-CHIT'-see-uh), Ukrainian foreign minister, at news conference)-"by different countries"-Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia says Russia's suggestion that pro-Russia insurgents in Ukraine be included in the next international talks on the future of the country doesn't make sense in a meeting of foreign ministers. ((note cut length)) (6 May 2014)


023-c-09-(Peter Leonard, AP correspondent)-"fighters have died"-AP correspondent Peter Leonard reports fighting in and around Slovyansk is racking up a deadly toll. (6 May 2014)


APPHOTO XAZ102: Pro-Russian gunmen carry their weapons at the local administration building in the center of Slovyansk, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Thirty pro-Russia insurgents and four government troops have been killed during operations to expunge anti-government forces around Slovyansk, a key eastern city, Ukraine's interior minister reported Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (6 May 2014)

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